7.3/10
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46 user 16 critic

Tea and Sympathy (1956)

Approved | | Drama | 5 November 1956 (France)
Tom Lee is a sensitive boy of 17 whose lack of interest in the "manly" pursuits of sports, mountain climbing and girls labels him "sister-boy" at the college he is attending. Head master ... See full summary »

Director:

Vincente Minnelli

Writers:

Robert Anderson (screenplay), Robert Anderson (based on the play by)
Reviews
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Deborah Kerr ... Laura Reynolds
John Kerr ... Tom Robinson Lee
Leif Erickson ... Bill Reynolds
Edward Andrews ... Herb Lee
Darryl Hickman ... Al
Norma Crane ... Ellie Martin
Dean Jones ... Ollie
Jacqueline deWit ... Lilly Sears
Tom Laughlin ... Ralph
Ralph Votrian Ralph Votrian ... Steve
Steven Terrell Steven Terrell ... Phil
Kip King ... Ted
Jimmy Hayes Jimmy Hayes ... Henry
Richard Tyler Richard Tyler ... Roger
Don Burnett ... Vic
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Storyline

Tom Lee is a sensitive boy of 17 whose lack of interest in the "manly" pursuits of sports, mountain climbing and girls labels him "sister-boy" at the college he is attending. Head master Bill Reynold's wife Laura sees Tom's suffering at the hands of his school mates (and her husband), and tries to help him find himself. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Where does a woman's sympathy leave off -- and her indiscretion begin?

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 November 1956 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Chá e Simpatia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,737,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (35 mm optical prints)| 4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints) (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In reality there was only a 10 year difference between Deborah and John Kerr. See more »

Goofs

After Tom's roommate Al hangs up with his father, he goes downstairs to tell Ms. Reynolds he will be moving out. The shadow of the moving boom mic is clearly visible between Ms. Reynold's door and the pay phone in the hall. See more »

Quotes

Tom Lee: I'm always falling in love with the wrong people.
Laura Reynolds: Who isn't?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in One Day at a Time: Wicked Ann (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

The Joys of Love
Written by G.B. Martini and Richard Dyer-Bennett
Performed by John Kerr (dubbed by Gene Merlino)
Song based on "Plaisir d'Amour"
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Rather than analyzing it to death...
30 September 2008 | by MarieGabrielleSee all my reviews

This film came to audiences at a rather schizophrenic time, things were changing, but not that much. Roles were assimilated, but not too drastically. People were questioning things, as long as it wasn't radical.

Women were still patronized, there were still clear role boundaries (witness the scene where Tom is knitting and catches derision for spending ten minutes in a sewing circle.) Not sure why that was a crime of the century, but whatever.

Deborah Kerr is tender and memorable as an unhappy wife to the school master at a prep school who realizes her marriage is a sham. She realizes this when she sympathizes with a student and resident at her home, a confused young man who simply is shy and has doubts about his future. There are some nuances regarding sexuality, but in all honesty that was a side-story, from what I inferred.

The message I take away from this film is not simply about ostracism and hatred; Minnelli as director also addresses female emotion, the reasons why Kerr empathizes with the young man, and how he eventually moves on. In the long rung, it is life affirming, although rather opaque in its message.

Discrimination and hatred take many forms, and sometimes the subtler forms are most repellent. Highly recommended. 8/10.


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